British agent Kerri Radcliffe made a big splash at last year's 2-year-olds in training sales in Florida, buying five juveniles for a total of $4.475 million on behalf of the newly formed Dubai-based Phoenix Thoroughbreds.
When the juvenile auction season kicks off March 13 with the Ocala Breeders' Sales March sale of 2-year-olds in training in Ocala, Fla., Radcliffe will not be part of the Phoenix buying bench.
Amer Abdulaziz Salman, the Phoenix founder and CEO, confirmed that Radcliffe was no longer the Phoenix bloodstock and racing manager and declined to elaborate. He said he and Jeremy Noseda, Radcliffe's former partner who trains the stable's horses in the United Kingdom, would be at OBS to handle the purchases.
Radcliffe confirmed that she will no longer be associated with Phoenix, but is proud of the success the stable has had in a short period of time with horses she purchased on their behalf.
"I wish them all the luck in the world and look forward to watching the horses that I bought run," Radcliffe said.
Paulickreport.com, citing unnamed sources, first reported the change.
Radcliffe, who purchased nearly $20 million in horses for Phoenix, is a native of Ireland who developed her horse skills as an equestrian before working at Coolmore. She established her bloodstock agency about 15 years ago.
Among the horses bought by Radcliffe and racing under the Phoenix silks are Dream Tree, a grade 1-winning filly who is among the leading contenders for the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1), and Gronkowski, a 3-year-old colt with classic aspirations after winning the Road to the Kentucky Derby conditions stakes at England's Kempton Park. Also on the Derby trail for Phoenix is Mourinho, winner of the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
A daughter of Uncle Mo , Dream Tree was purchased by Radcliffe at the Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale at Gulfstream Park for $750,000. A son of Super Saver , Mourinho was acquired for $625,000 at the OBS March sale last year, and Gronkowski, a Lonhro colt, was purchased for the U.S. equivalent of $404,492 at the Tattersalls breeze-up sale in Newmarket, England.
Bob Baffert, who trains Dream Tree and Mourinho, said he was unaware of the Phoenix developments and that he is scheduled to meet with the Phoenix CEO during the upcoming OBS sale.
Radcliffe's departure is the second recent major management change at Phoenix, which announced in December that veteran North American horse industry executive Tom Ludt would be the head of its United States operations.
The announcement said Ludt would help advise on new sourcing opportunities and management of existing bloodstock as Phoenix looks to expand its operations into stallions and broodmares, and explore resale opportunities worldwide.